Davidoff Cool Water - cologne review
- A classic, and still popular after all these years: soapy, floral and very fresh indeed
- One of the great aquatic scents, along with Acqua di Gio - and always reasonably priced
- 70% of reviewers rate Davidoff Cool Water with 5 stars on Amazon - so it’s enduringly popular for sound reasons
- Check the price on eBay here
Davidoff Cool Water is 28 years old at the time of writing (2016), and frankly it is like a man coming into his prime: it is still understandably popular after all these years.
It's another of those colognes that are typically described as 'aquatic' (well, it is Cool Water after all, right?), but it is still easily distinguished from that other great aquatic fragrance, Armani Acqua di Gio.
Think of it like this: both smell of sea spray and 'aquatic' notes, but if Acqua di Gio is very citrusy, Davidoff Cool Water is more soapy and floral, and deliciously so.
In our view, its exact scents are hard to define: we are told by Davidoff themselves that the top notes are peppermint and lavender. But it's not necessarily that easy, to our noses, to detect those exact scents: and for us, this is the originality of the fragrance. Wrinkle your nose, inhale deeply, concentrate hard, and you can just about separate out the mint and lavender notes. But at a casual sniff, those two scents combine to create the unique, harmonised Cool Water smell, and the mint and lavender notes remain incognito, so to speak.
And that is the whole story: Davidoff Cool Water's success is underpinned by a single, magic combination of two fresh notes. As so often, the best ideas are the simplest ideas, and we at Best Cologne for Men feel this is all anyone needs to know about this beauty.
We'd better add, though, that Cool Water longevity isn't great in our experience (you might need to re-apply it a few times during the day), and the scent might get a little sickly on a really hot, sweaty day (somewhat ironic given the videos you will see below...), but equally, it's often cheaper than its rival, Acqua di Gio. A good frag to splash on after a post-workout shower, we would say: suitable for young, athletic guys, in our view, a point reinforced by the advertising campaigns that we explore below...
Davidoff Cool Water - advertising campaigns
Given how long this classic cologne has been around for, it's not surprising that Cool Water has notched up quite a few advertising campaigns in its time.
It's poignant, obviously, as Paul Walker tragically passed away in 2013, and of course there were people (in the UK, for some reason) who complained when the advert continued to be aired shortly after his death (see the controversy online), as it was supposedly insensitive.
It was probably made worse by the fact that Paul is depicted driving somewhat recklessly in the video (Paul Walker died in a car accident, of course). But we prefer to see this short video as another way of celebrating his talent and his zest for life (and if you don't believe us about that, check out the interview in this video: sure, he has to be enthusiastic, he's promoting Davidoff cologne after all, but he comes across as such a good guy).
To return to the video:
It's actually a video that echoes the previous Cool Water advertisements in that, as in the previous campaigns, it's a sizzling hot day, and the male lead - attractive, muscled... essentially not a guy who is scared to go topless around the place, let's put it that way - ends up whipping off his shirt and diving into the sea to cool off. An irony there, as we think Cool Water can go slightly synthetic when it 'cooks' on sweaty skin a boiling hot day: but we get the point, Cool Water is as refreshing as a deep dive in the ocean on a summer's day, and that makes a lot of sense as a promotional tool. Hence, presumably, why Davidoff keep using the same template over and over again.
It was the same in the Brian Buzzini advert of 1992, and again in the Cool Water campaign starring Josh Holloway of Lost fame (not that he's too famous now...) several years later - just see for yourself (try playing them simultaneously):
In those two videos, Buzzini's and Holloway's interaction with the girls they encounter is pretty minimal: with Paul Walker's vid, there is the thrill of the additional car chase (and we all know no men's cologne video is complete without a great, preferably old-school car, preferably convertible), and a lot more - if still silent - interaction with the lady. Probably a good idea to play up the female interest this time given that Cool Water's lavender notes might send the wrong signal (and if you don't believe us, read this)... Buzzini's bare backside in his skinny-dipping session of 23 years ago doesn't help here either...
Finally, and as a totally irrelevant aside, got to admire the way Buzzini and Holloway go for a butterfly stroke - Paul Walker goes for the more conventional front crawl. And we can't help thinking what a stinking nightmare those jeans are going to be when they start to dry off later (and shrink against poor Paul's legs and crotch).
Life goes on, and Paul has been replaced as the face of Davidoff Cool Water by Scott 'Son of Clint' Eastwood (star of minor roles in Gran Torino, Invictus and Fury). We haven't seen the ad yet, but to judge from this shot, it looks like more muscle, more toplessness and more seawater... Watch this space.
Overall rating: well, it is cool and it is fresh - it gets 8.5 out of 10. An oldie but a goodie.